Baseball, hockey, korfball anyone? The wide world of sports ranges from the predictable to the obscure. You can play korfball with the people of the Netherlands, go to the extreme ironing world championship near Munich, Germany, or play underwater hockey or rugby with the New Jersey Hammerheads, or any of the other seven teams in the United States. No matter how strange these sports sound or seem, people play them.
Korfball is a co-ed sport similar to basketball, except it is typically played on a large, grassy field. The game is fairly simple. You score when you throw the ball through the other team's basket, which is on a post about 11 ½ feet high. After two goals the teams change zones: the defenders become attackers and attackers defenders. At half time the teams change ends. It mat sound a lot like basketball, but there are a couple of major twists.
First, a player can’t run with the ball or dribble it under any circumstances. When you receive the ball, you need to pass it to a teammate or shoot. Also, each team must be made up of exactly four men and four women; There are no single-sex korfball teams. Lastly, the players can’t score when they are defended within an arm’s length. They have to be “open” to score points. Korfball is played professionally in 57 countries including England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, Germany, France, and The Netherlands, where Korfball was invented in 1902. There is a World Championship held every four years, and it was a demonstration sport in the 1920 and 1928 Olympics.
Another sport that originated in Europe is underwater hockey, also called “octopush”. Alan Blake, a pioneer of diving, and a few of his diving friends invented Octopush in England during the summer of 1959. The game was first played by pushing an octopus across the bottom of a pool, hence “octopush”.
The sport is non-contact due to the danger of hitting people under water, like the risk of drowning. Players wear snorkels and goggles, as well as hold a stick that has to be shorter than fourteen inches in length. The players compete by pushing the 3-pound puck across the bottom of a pool...